Redhead Baby Mama | Atlanta Mom Blogger

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

These Paper Towels Can REALLY Clean Up a Mess


Thank you to Viva Vantage and Walmart for sponsoring this post and helping me clean up my messes!

Because that I have a toddler (3 years old, to be exact), I have some serious messes. Sticky, ooey, gooey, and plenty of gross. Add potty training to the mix, and it's a veritable rats nest of ick. One of my worst messes (besides the trail of pee to the bathroom!) is maple syrup at breakfast. Red is a nut case for waffles, and has now shown an interest in the sticky sweet stuff that goes with it. I used to give him just a dot of maple syrup, but now that's he's older, he's constantly requesting, "More Dip-It, Mama! More Syrup!" So, I oblige him with a tablespoon or two. But, as you can imagine, that makes a HUGE mess with drips. For better or for worse, I tried Viva® Vantage paper towels for their claims that it's durable and won't break up on me when I'm tackling my big messes. I picked up my three pack of paper towels at my local Walmart, just around the corner. I'm glad they sold a three pack for such a good price, because I need a big supply!
Viva Vantage Paper Towels now available at Walmart!
Every morning, Red has his choice of breakfasts.  While I'm dragging myself to my coffee pot, Red is chirping, "Waffles! Oatmeal! Cereal!" all the way to his booster seat.  As long as he's not getting too much sugar in the morning, we'll opt for waffles with syrup as a weekday treat.  But being a big boy, Red is now asking to dip-it himself, and since I'm all about encouraging independence I let him feed himself and make a mess while he does it (inner ocd mom is cringing now...). Look at that happy, dipping, waffle-eating child; he's in breakfast heaven!
What he produces after he's had his fill of waffles is a drippy, syrup-dotted, sticky mess of a table (and shirt... and plate... and sometimes floor).  And since we're usually trying to brush teeth, grab clothes, and rush to school after breakfast, the syrup gets to sit on the table for a good 20 minutes more and solidify while we're away..... yum.  See the real-life, post-meal syrupy exhibit A:
Gross.  And so sticky.  I only needed a spray of cleaner to dissolve the syrup and wiped it up with just one small Viva towel.  Before, my old paper towels easily stuck with the syrup and tore away. Not with this one! I was surprised at how strong it was.  I even had to do a stretch test for myself to see exactly how far the fibers would go!  (They went a little farther when totally dry)  The best thing about the Viva® Vantage Paper Towels besides the weird, totally real stretch aspect is the select-a-size option.  I can choose one small towel for sticky food messes and hands, and a triple pane of towels for those giant spills on the carpet. 
And the syrupy mess from breakfast? Gone in a split second.  My family-hand-me-down table is perfectly clean thanks to those awesome, stretchy towels.  Will I go back to my old paper towels? Nope. I'm breaking up with them because Viva didn't break up on me!  Have you tried these paper towels yet? I'm really impressed and would love to see someone make baby wipes from them - they are soft yet tough!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

eMeals' NEW 30 Minute Meal Plan & Discount

Okay, ya'll know what a freak I am about eMeals. I'm always making an eMeals recipe for dinner, cooking for house guests and trying to get more meals into my family.  We've been using the clean eating plan for at least 2 years, and low and behold, I got word from eMeals today about a new meal plan.  30 Minute Meals are now available for your family!  

If you have never tried eMeals because you think haven't got time to cook, you need to think again! With shorter recipes, fewer ingredients, fast-prep slow-cooker meals and super speedy twists on your old favorites, you'll be making home cooked meals in a snap.  eMeals created a 30-minute meal plan focused on providing nightly meals that can be made in a blink! As always, you can shop at any grocery store for seasonal items using your own coupons.  Each of the meals takes 30 minutes or less of prep time, and depending on the season (Winter is Coming..... hee hee), this plan will often include a few EASY PREP slow-cooker meals a week.   I'm usually AWFUL about slow-cooker meals because of the intense prep it takes, but I'm stoked to try these recipes.

Be sure to use the code SCHOOL for 20% off any meal plan!  Now take a peek at the White Bacon Pizza below for a sampling of the new 30 minute meal plan and make your family's tummies happy!
White Bacon Pizza
with Homestyle Tomato Soup

2 (10- or 14-oz) packages baked pizza crusts
(original or thin crust)
1 (2.5-oz) package real bacon pieces
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon dried basil
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place each pizza crust on a pizza pan or large baking sheet.  Divide bacon, tomatoes, and cheese between each crust. Whisk eggs, milk and basil; slowly drizzle over pizzas. Bake 20 minutes or until egg mixture is set.
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   Homestyle Tomato Soup:
2 (14½-oz) cans chicken broth
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ cup sour cream

Combine broth and tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; stir in milk and basil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Top each serving with a spoonful of sour cream.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Selfie Weekend

Looking back on my weekend in photos, there were an awful lot of selfies! From Red and my efforts potty training to the two television wrap parties with Hubs, we sure did document our activities!  The end of last week saw Red using the potty for #2 8 times in 6 days.  
EPIC success, mostly driven by him, with me asking if he needed to go #2 a few times.  Mostly, he was up and running for the potty with me dashing behind him, throwing whatever I was working on into the air.  Pants down, plop him on the potty and away he went. Sometimes for several minutes telling me, "It's coming, Mama!" I know, TMI, but hey - when you've been potty training for a year, you go with it...  Success was rewarded with suckers, celebration and facetime calls to my Mom (Red requested!).  When we last visited St. Louis for my Dad's birthday, my parents gave him a gag gift shirt that says, "I Pooped Today!"... there was lots of wearing of this shirt! 
 A few bloggers I pal around with got together for a kid-free tapas and cocktail dinner at a local restaurant, and while we were taking plenty of selfies and enjoyably tweeting each other, it was nice to be out at and not have any obligation to work on our phones. Thanks, Meghan for planning it all!
 Saturday night was the Cinemax Banshee wrap party, and it was so loud (music, people, everything) we were shouting into each other's cheeks all night... we all left half deaf and with no voices, so that was no fun, but we were able to screen an unaired episode, and it was great. Congrats to Hubs and his partner for a great season!
 The USA Network Satisfaction wrap party the next night was so much better. It was hosted on the airy patio and party room of Shout, in downtown Atlanta, and the food was soooooo good.  Tapas, sushi, sliders, crudites, everything for every palette.  The service was amazing, too, and I made sure to let the restaurant know that they were handling over 350 people effortlessly.  Check out the cool photobooth and props that we had fun with!
 Lastly, I made Hubs take a few selfies with me because hey, we were on a selfie roll, ya know? He's such a cutie. I think I'll keep him :)
Did you take any selfies this weekend?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Get your Game Day Food on with #TeamJello University Molds! #shop

This #shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

At my house, we are University of Georgia fans. We are Dawg fans. From owning a bulldog named for a past Coach to having an entire man-cave decked out in University collectables, Hubs and I bleed red and black. We've been going to games together since I was in grad school, and I even chose the opening game of the 2010 season to tell Hubs (on campus at a tailgate party) that we were finally pregnant! Since we are both graduates of UGA, we have perfected the art of the tailgate, mixing up great recipes like cowboy caviar and offering themed spreads of decor and game day fun. 

This year, I'm getting my tailgate party just right with #TeamJello Jigglers University Mold Kits. I used to eat Jello Jigglers all the time as a kid, and now that jigglers come in UGA characters and logos, I'm stoked! The mold kit comes with two identical trays and four boxes of team colored jello (varies with your team).
To make your UGA Game Day Jigglers follow these simple instructions:

1. Generously spray your mold trays with cooking spray. If you skip this step, the jello will not release and it will ruin the shape of the jigglers! *I may or may not be speaking from experience...*
2. Combine 1 1/3 cups boiling hot water with two packets of the strawberry jello (No need for cold water). Stir for 3 minutes or until well dissolved. Using a measuring cup with a nice spout, fill one mold tray. With the second mold tray, fill 2/3 of the way for each jiggler. 
3. Place the trays carefully in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until completely set. 
4. While the #TeamJello trays set, grab a generous handful of chocolate sandwich cookies and remove the cremes by scraping. Place all the cookies in a large baggie and crush well. 
5. When your molds are finished setting, remove them from the fridge. Mix up one more box of Jello with 2/3 cup of hot water. Stir well to combine. 
6. Combine 1/3 cup of the crushed cookies into the hot jello mixture. Stir well to saturate the cookie crumbs.
7. Using your measuring cup, pour the cookie-jello mix into the 2/3 molds until they are level with the tray. This added layer of chocolate jello gives you some black-layered jigglers to go with your red ones! 
8. Chill the mold trays again until well set. 
9. Gently run a butter knife along the top edge of the jiggler to separate it from the mold. It should easily peel out and can be set on a tray with your teams' colors!
10. Serve to your hungry football fans! 
The cookie layered jigglers taste like chocolate covered strawberries, which are delicious in my book. Add a dollop of whipped cream, and you have a family-friendly tailgate dessert that can't be beat! 
If you're looking for your favorite team, make sure to take a peek at Walmart.com. They have TONS of teams listed in the #TeamJello collection that might not be in your local store. I was lucky and grabbed a few right off the shelves of my Walmart. Grab a 75 cent off coupon from Kraft for your tailgating party and wow your guests with your new sports food!
Did you find your favorite team online at Walmart.com? How would you use your #TeamJello mold trays to share your team spirit at your tailgate party?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why You Should Go To #TypeACon

Once upon a time, I was a copycat.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I saw a bunch of people were going to a conference that was just a few miles from me, and I thought, "Hey.  I can do that, too!"  So I drummed up my savings and threw it at a conference ticket.  And it was one of the best things I ever did.  Being a mom, having a career and blogging on the side, sometimes I need to feed myself.  Get your oxygen on before you help someone else. And getting away to nurture my newfound mini-job did just that.

Type A Parent Conference comes once a year in September.  It's a fairly small conference where big fish and little fish bloggers come together to have their brains overworked with fabulous content, easy cocktail parties and to network.  Newbies aren't separated, because the founder, Kelby, believes that everyone should be immersed in heavy, excellent content.  And I'm a believer.  There was so much that I used this year, much that went over my head and (not to be all gushy on you) the amount of new friends I came away with was staggering.  I still have my first pass hanging with all my jewelry, reminding me of that weekend, and September 18th, I'll once again hit downtown Atlanta and get my veteran pin to replace that newbie one. 
Type A Parent Conference was also where I made this crazy video (my first Instagram video)...
... and learned how to make a media kit (the right way!!), how to really network with a brand, and how to connect across the interwebs and get a real connection.  It's where I'm headed back to this fall, and I couldn't be more excited!  If you're already going, give me a holler - I want to see you and hug your neck!  If you're not yet going, there are some passes left and I really want to see you there!
Here's my affiliate link if you'd like to use it: Type A Parent Conference Tickets! I simply can't wait for some of the most awesome conferences out there. Here's to learning, staying up late with friends and getting my blog on!  Type A Parent Conference 2014 is September 18-21, 2014 at The Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead.  There's KidCon for childcare, downtime to head to dinner with your friends and great sponsors like GoGoSqueeze, DisneyParks, BeechNut and Hasbro.  I'm so excited to get there!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keep Your Memories with YesVideo's Digital Transfer #DivaMemories

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and YesVideo. I received the featured service free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Not to date myself, but I remember the first video camera my dad.   It was seriously HUGE, light gray and had a big slot for a VHS tape.  It was basically a boom box with a lens.  He bought it before I was one year old, taping for hours at a time during our celebrations and special occasions.  We had a toy box FULL of VHS tapes as the years rolled on, occasionally popping them into the tape player and watching them back.  As my brother and I went into high school, DVDs became popular and our VHS tapes started to collect dust.  In a matter of months, we no longer had a way to play them.  But we couldn't get rid of them, either, because they were our moments trapped in time.  

I had always wanted to have some tapes transferred, and with the help of YesVideo, finally decided to bite the bullet.  When I visited Mom and Dad for Dad's 60th birthday, I hunkered down in their basement to look through our tape collection.  I pulled out not only my first birthday and easter (same month) but also my senior high school musical as well as the winning One Act I was in when I met Hubs.  How could I not share this tidbit of pleather-clad amazingness?? I am so sorry that 90s technology isn't what it should be and this is insanely hard to hear. Pretend that it's amazing... but seriously... look at the fashions. We thought we were SO HOT. 
You know you want that look.... Honestly, that's what my husband first saw. The very first thing. And he still stuck around :) What I'm loving with this service is that I can embed my favorite clips here on the blog, or on my social networks with YesVideo’s video embed feature. So again with the oversharing, check out just a snippet of my first birthday: smiles dissolve into cries quickly when I don't get that cake right now.  And I don't think I was a cute baby at all... Red is way cuter than I was!!

What tapes or reels would you transfer? If you're ready to reclaim your tapes, you can order online at YesVideo, or drop off your order at one of our partnered retailers - including Costco, Walmart, Sam’s & even CVS. Save 20% video transfer orders placed at www.yesvideo.com with promo code YVBLOG20. Valid through 9/31/14. Be sure to keep up with YesVideo on Twitter and send them some love - what they do for personal history is pretty awesome!
Save 20% on your order with promo code YVBLOG20.  Enter to win a $50 gift card to transfer your memories!!
For your chance to win a $50 giftcard to YesVideo, enter the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
YesVideo Giveaway
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